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Catalyst Communities Announces Union with Beacon Communities

February 23, 2021

Pittsburgh-based Beacon team looks forward to continued regenerative development 

 PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIAFebruary 23, 2021 — Catalyst Communities today announced an evolution in its relationship with Beacon Communities, its investor.  Catalyst is now a fully integrated office of Beacon Communities LLC (Beacon).  In this union, Catalyst’s team members in Pittsburgh have joined Beacon, where they will continue working on their projects in the region and concentrating on the mission to build and renew neighborhoods—focusing on affordability and inclusivity, sound financing and quality services, all designed to improve the lives of residents and neighbors. 

 We have a deep history with Beacon Communities that has demonstrated our mutual mission and goals for future regenerative developments,” said Michael Polite, now a partner and Executive Vice President at Beacon. “We are eager to take the next step by uniting with Beacon Communities to optimize our efforts with the additional resources that will be available to our team, communities and our residents.”  

 Boston-based Beacon Communities is a privately owned real estate firm that develops, acquires, invests in, and manages a wide range of multifamily housing. The company owns and manages approximately 19,000 apartments including affordable housing, market rate housing, and mixed income housing and operates in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regionsBeacon’s development work includes new construction, historic adaptive reuse, and the renovation of existing housing. 

“We look forward to our continued work with our talented colleagues in Pittsburgh.” said Dara Kovel, Chief Executive Officer of Beacon Communities. “Having Michael Polite lead our team in Pittsburgh will build on our growth in the region and allow us to develop more critically-needed affordable housing in this part of our footprint.” 

 This union builds on decades of collaboration between Polite and Beacon, going back over twenty years to when Polite was a project manager at Beacon working on the redevelopment of Pittsburgh’s distressed Allequippa Terrace public housing complex into Oak Hill.  Since then, Polite, the Catalyst team, and Beacon have collaborated on a variety of transactions that use complex funding to solve affordable housing financing challenges and involve Beacon’s community engagement department to develop resident services to meet the needs of vulnerable populations.  In Pittsburgh, this work includes Moorhead Tower and The Lemington. 

 “Typically in housing development the focus lies solely on the real estate,” said Polite. “Beacon has taken the way they respond to resident needs to the next level through community engagement that connects residents with a professional who can assist in identifying services available to them in their community that will help them to thrive.”  

Led by Polite, this new Beacon office will pursue opportunities in PA, OH and the mid-Atlantic.  

Current developments being undertaken by this group include: 

  • North Negley Residences, Pittsburgh, PA – a former synagogue that will become a regenerative community of mixed-income housing and community center; 
  • The Lemington, Pittsburgh, PA – an adaptive reuse of the former Lemington Home of the Aged into an affordable 54-unit senior development and community health center; and 
  • Franklin Manor , Columbus, OH –  the preservation and renovation of an existing 272-unit mixed income property originally built in the 1970s 

 To learn more, please visit 

 About Beacon Communities 

Beacon Communities is a privately-owned real estate firm that develops, acquires, invests in, and manages multi-family housing. For 25 years, Beacon has engaged in development opportunities ranging from new construction, to historic adaptive reuse, to the renovation of existing housing while working to secure multi-family housing portfolios. Beacon’s approach implements creative funding sources and sustainable design features to benefit residents and investors alike. Understanding how to work with partners, communities, and local governments has enabled Beacon to create award-winning communities where their residents are Living Well by Design. 

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